Crossing Wisconsin

I’ll be keynoting the Midwest Google Summit in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin this upcoming Monday and doing several presentations.  It’s always my pleasure to return to central Wisconsin where I went to college as I had a great experience at UW-Stevens Point.

CheeseThe keynote takes me into new territory, and is a reflection of my new work at The Third Teacher Plus and Cannon Design in Chicago.  It’s a brand new presentation, which can be interesting in front of a large audience, but its something I’ve done before and enjoy.   It’s my belief that an audience should hear your most current beliefs and ideas in a keynote, and that it should be an honest conversation with the audience.  If the delivery is not perfect, that’s ok, because ultimately, the ideas are the most important thing.

The presentation focuses on expeditions, journey, curiosity and wonder.  I’ve been heavily influenced in my pathway by my colleagues at The Third Teacher but this is my take.  I’ve long thought that the most important element in helping students learn is imagination; something I’ve also come to believe is in incredibly short supply in most schools.  So, I’ll be talking about wonder, about a new expedition, and the need to think forward, and for the need to develop the big ideas education needs so desperately.  I’ll challenge the audience to capture their intent in their own expedition manifesto.

All of this looks towards a raw need for imaginative professionals capable of crafting a new type of student experience that looks forward rather than backward.    Education can no longer spend time trying to get better at 1997 and retrofitting the capacities of modern technology into comfortable, yet tired and dated, pedagogies and structures.  And new calls for confusing learners as a precursor to learning, teaching kids to fail successfully, or having students exhibit grit are simply distractions to the very serious work of returning public education to relevance.

Instead of all of that I’ll embrace the curiosity and wonder required for embarking on a new type of expedition.  Embrace wonder, embrace big ideas, embrace imagination, and embrace the expedition.

I’ll follow that with a presentation on blending media with a variety of Google tools to create really compelling lessons, and from there, a session on learning spaces where we’ll do more conversation than presentation, but the hour will be about the ecology of space and learning.

Thanks to the organizers for having me.  I’m looking forward to getting back out there after some down time, so I hope to see you there.


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